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The primary work of the Boston Library Consortium [BLC] is done through its membership communities. These communities include representation from across the BLC member libraries and range from groups focused primarily on networking and sharing experiences with colleagues to those that are involved in a specific initiative or project. There are currently three types of communities within the BLC:
- Heads of Resource Management Committee - This is the only standing committee within the BLC, appointed by the Board.
- Communities of Interest [COI's] - These are the primary forums for collaboration and are typically organized around a common practice area or current issue in academic and research libraries. COI's can be formed by interested groups within the BLC upon approval by the Board. Any BLC member librarian interested in initiating a new COI should contact the Executive Director. Some COI's are exclusively birds of a feather networking groups that meet annually at the BLC Networking Day. Others are more actively involved in projects and may spin off a working group or sub-group to initiate a task or provide analysis or input to the larger COI. Please see below for additional information on how to propose a new COI.
- Working Groups - Working Groups are typically formed either at the direction of the Board or grow out of an initiative within a Community of Interest or the Heads of Resource Management. Working Groups are usually given a specific charge and asked to provide regular updates to the Board or their parent COI.
The Heads of Resource Management Committee as well as any active Working Groups are assigned a liaison from the Board of Directors who is meant to work with the group to ensure progress against the charge and provide communication to and from the Board as needed.
- Occasionally, a BLC Community may wish to initiate a project that would require outside funding. The BLC Board of Directors is open to considering such funding requests. The Guidelines for Submitting Funding Requests to the BLC Board of Directors should be consulted prior to making a funding request.
If you are interested in joining an existing community, please contact the Convener listed on the Communities website page or send an e-mail to the Executive Director. If you are interested in forming a new Community of Interest, please see below.
The BLC has Recommendations and Best Practices for conducting COI, Committee, and Working Group meetings, please review when planning.
How to Propose a new Community of Interest
Staff at BLC member libraries can propose the creation of a new Community of Interest (COI). Below please find some guidance for how to do so:
- Identify the need for a new COI and post the intention to propose its formation to BLC.Announce to gather feedback.
- If sufficient interest, potential leader(s) host a planning meeting at which the new COI's charge, broad purpose, specific projects and leadership are discussed.
- Leaders write a proposal for review at a BLC board meeting. Proposal should include leader(s), purpose/charge, relation to other COIs and groups (both within BLC and outside of BLC), history/exploration of need and planned meeting schedule. The proposal should be sent to the BLC Executive Director, who can also assist in its drafting, and who will take it to the Board.
- BLC Board decides and communicates.